Club of Amsterdam, Future, Think Tank ..

Club of Amsterdam Journal
Free Subscription
click here

























































































































keyword search
Books about the future of Waste

. Books about the future of Waste

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage
by Heather Rogers

*Starred Review* America leads the world in garbage, and that is nothing to be proud of. A clear-thinking and peppery writer, Rogers presents a galvanizing expose of how we became the planet's trash monsters. Americans were ingeniously thrifty until industrialization ushered in consumer culture and the age of disposable goods and built-in obsolescence. But once the public was exhorted to buy stuff whether they needed it or not - and Rogers provides many eye-opening examples of corporate strategies and propaganda - new forms of garbage began to pile up and break down into toxic substances. Rogers details everything that is wrong with today's wasteful packaging, bogus recycling, and flawed landfills and incinerators. Here, too, is the inside story of the plastic revolution and the irresponsibly wasteful beverage market, the Mafia's involvement in commercial waste, and the illegal overseas shipping of garbage, especially toxic e-waste - trashed computers and cell phones. Rogers exhibits black-belt precision in her assault on American corporations that succeed in "greenwashing" the public while remaining "hell-bent on ever-expanding production no matter what the ecological toll." Set this beside Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land (2005), and contemplate Rogers' dictum: garbage "never really goes away." - Donna Seaman

The Scavengers' Manifesto
by Anneli Rufus (Author), Kristan Lawson (Author)

Destined to become the bible for a bold new subculture of eco-minded people who are creating a lifestyle out of recycling, reusing, and repurposing rather than buying new.

An exciting new movement is afoot that brings together environmentalists, anticonsumerists, do-it-yourselfers, bargain-hunters, and treasure-seekers of all stripes. You can see it in the enormous popularity of many websites: millions of Americans are breaking free from the want-get-discard cycle by which we are currently producing approximately 245 million tons of waste every day (that's 4.5 pounds per person, per day!).

In The Scavengers' Manifesto, Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson invite readers to discover one of the most gratifying (and inexpensive) ways there is to go green. Whether it's refurbishing a discarded wooden door into a dining-room table; finding a bicycle on; or giving a neighbor who just had a baby that cute never-used teddy bear your child didn't bond with, in this book Rufus and Lawson chart the history of scavenging and the world-changing environmental and spiritual implications of "Scavenomics," and offer readers a framework for adopting scavenging as a philosophy and a way of life.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
William McDonough (Author), Michael Braungart (Author)

Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better - say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually "downcycling," creating hybrids of biological and technical "nutrients" which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm - they're actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process. Cradle to Cradle is a refreshing change from the intractable environmental conflicts that dominate headlines. It's a handbook for 21st-century innovation and should be required reading for business hotshots and environmental activists. - Therese Littleton

Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift
Andres R. Edwards (Author)

Sustainability has become a buzzword in the last decade, but its full meaning is complex, emerging from a range of different sectors. In practice, it has become the springboard for millions of individuals throughout the world who are forging the fastest and most profound social transformation of our time - the Sustainability Revolution.

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters

by Rose George

An utterly original exploration of the world of human waste that will surprise, outrage - and entertain

Produced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, and hidden by euphemism, bodily waste is something common to all and as natural as breathing, yet we prefer not to talk about it. But we should - even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. For it's not only in developing countries that human waste is a major public health threat: population growth is taxing even the most advanced sewage systems, and the disease spread by waste kills more people worldwide every year than any other single cause of death. Even in America, 1.95 million people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject remains unmentionable.

"The Big Necessity "takes aim at the taboo, revealing everything that matters about how people do - and don't - deal with their own waste. Moving from the deep underground sewers of Paris, London, and New York - an infrastructure disaster waiting to happen - to an Indian slum where ten toilets are shared by 60,000 people, Rose George stops along the way to explore the potential saviors: China's five million biogas digesters, which produce energy from waste; the heroes of third world sanitation movements; the inventor of the humble Car Loo; and the U.S. Army's personal lasers used by soldiers to zap their feces in the field.

With razor-sharp wit and crusading urgency, mixing levity with gravity, Rose George has turned the subject we like to avoid into a cause with the most serious of consequences.

The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis
by Maggie Black (Author), Ben Fawcett (Author)

Except in schoolboy jokes, the subject of human waste is rarely aired. We talk about ‘water-related’ diseases when most are sanitation-related - in short, we don’t mention the shit.

A century and a half ago, a long, hot summer reduced the Thames flowing past the UK Houses of Parliament to a ‘Great Stink’, thereby inducing MPs to legislate sanitary reform. Today, another sanitary reformation is needed, one that manages to spread cheaper and simpler systems to people everywhere.

In the byways of the developing world, much is quietly happening on the excretory frontier. In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation, the authors bring this awkward subject to a wider audience than the world of international filth usually commands. They seek the elimination of the ‘Great Distaste’ so that people without political clout or economic muscle can claim their right to a dignified and hygienic place to ‘go’.

Published with UNICEF

Green Plastics: An Introduction to the New Science of Biodegradable Plastics.
by E. S. Stevens

Plastics are everywhere. Bags, bank cards, bottles, and even boats can all be made of this celebrated but much-maligned material. Yet most of us know next to nothing about plastics. We do know that they are practical and cheap - but they also represent a huge environmental problem, for they literally take ages to decompose. In this engaging book, E.S. Stevens tells us everything we have always wondered about plastics and of the efforts, in America, Europe, and Asia, to develop a new breed of environmentally friendly plastics. He points to a possible future where plastics will no longer be made of petroleum, but of plants.

The first two chapters assess the increased use of plastics as a relatively new alternative to other materials. The third chapter introduces us to their impact on the environment and strategies for their disposal or recycling. The next two chapters cover basic concepts and terms used in polymer sciences and provide some basic chemistry. With these fundamentals in tow, the author compares how petroleum-based and biological polymers are made, and the various ways in which they decompose. He acquaints readers with the emerging technologies, their commercial viability, and their future. Finally, instructions are given for preparing basic bioplastics using readily available materials.

Nonspecialists will find Green Plastics a concise introduction to this exciting interdisciplinary topic - an introduction otherwise not available. For students it provides easy entry to an area of science with wide appeal and current importance; for teachers, excellent background reading for courses in various sciences. The prospect of depleted fossil fuel supplies, and the potential benefits of bioplastics to the environment and to rural areas that could supply the raw materials, make this book a compelling presentation of a subject whose time has come.

Marine Pollution: New Research
by Tobias N. Hofer (Editor), D. M. S. Abessa (Contributor), V. M. C. Aguiar (Contributor), Juan A. Alfonso (Contributor), J. A. Baptista-Neto (Contributor)

Marine pollution is the harmful effect caused by the entry into the ocean of chemicals or particles. An associated problem is that many potentially toxic chemical's adhere to tiny particles which are then taken up by plankton and benthos animals, most of which are either deposit or filter feeders, concentrating upward within ocean food chains. Also, because most animal feeds contain high fish meal and fish oil content, toxins can be found a few weeks later in commonly consumed food items derived from livestock and animal husbandry such as meat, eggs, milk, butter and margarine. One common path of entry by contaminants to the sea are rivers. Many particles combine chemically in a manner highly depletive of oxygen, causing estuaries to become anoxic. This book presents the latest research in the field from around the world.

Water Treatment: Principles and Design
by MWH (Author)

The one-stop resource for all aspects of water treatment engineering-from theory to practice
Completely revised and updated to address current practices and technologies, Water Treatment: Principles and Design, Second Edition provides unique coverage of both the principles and theory of water treatment, as well as the practical considerations of plant design and distribution.
Written by the world's leading water engineering firm, Water Treatment: Principles and Design, Second Edition presents the breadth of water treatment engineering-from the theory and principles of water chemistry and microbiology to in-depth discussions of revolutionary treatment processes to concise tips for plant and network design. Material has been extensively updated and revised in response to regulatory requirements and growing public awareness, particularly in the areas of disinfection, membrane filtration, disposal of treatment plant residuals, and basic microbiology with an emphasis on human pathogens and diseases.

Water Treatment: Principles and Design, Second Edition provides an essential textbook for students and a reliable resource for environmental and water resources engineers.

Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
by David JC MacKay

Featured on NPR's Science Friday list of summer books "Anyone trying to write technical documents for a non-technical audience ought to read this, just to see how it's done. Edward Tufte quality." "This is a must-have book for anyone who is seriously interested in energy policy." -Scott Kirwin, "A delight to read and will appeal especially to practical people who want to understand what is important in energy and what is not." -Dr Derek Pooley CBE, former chief scientist, UK Department of Energy, and member, European Union Advisory Group on Energy "This is a brilliant book that is both a racy read and hugely informative . . . It shows . . . how cars might become far more efficient but why planes cannot." -David Newbery, director, Electricity Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge "Here are the numbers in a form easy to digest about energy use and availability. Fantastic achievement." -Professor Volker Heine, Fellow of the Royal Society "May be the best technical book about the environment that I've ever read. This is to energy and climate what Freakonomics is to economics." "A tour de force . . . As a work of popular science it is exemplary . . . For anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the real problems involved [it] is the place to start." -

Renewable Energy: Sustainable Energy Concepts for the Future
by Roland Wengenmayr (Editor), Thomas Bührke (Editor)

This essential new title provides a contemporary overview on a major key topic of the 21st century. Written by well known scientists in the area who discuss the topic soberly and without ideology, they focus on how photovoltaic, solar power, wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, fuel cells, and hydrogen enterprise work. Presented in full-colour with catchy information diagrams and information boxes.

Recommend books, please contact:

You can find resources related to this topic in the sections about

Club of Amsterdam Journal
Club of Amsterdam blog
by name

and for more events

Copyright 2002-2018 Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.    Contact     Privacy statement    Cancellation Policy